Welcome to! Click one of these buttons to join in on the fun.

3DThe Meshes of the Daleks

FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member

So, I re-watched the first Cushing movie a while ago, and that has put me on a bit of a Dalek binge, and I decided to create a Dalek designed to my own particular tastes.

So the first thing was that I wanted this to be a design I could put next to an NSD and have it feel just as real, but I wanted to move a little away from the solid tanky feel. I love the NSD, don't get me wrong, but I feel Daleks work best as a high tech alien look, sleek in the right places but fragile in others.

I also like my Daleks to have character and personality, so the colourful Cushing Daleks are a good starting point, though I will likely create more monochrome variants as well.


Starting with the fender, I liked the pointed look of the NSD style, and its very natural to extend the shape of the skirt (I'm actually shocked it took as long as it did for someone to do that), but it was a little too blocky for the feel I wanted. While the Cushing/DIOE/NDP fenders just look tacked on. The solution was to start with an NSD angular one and smooth out the corners to give it a sleeker look. IIRC I got the idea for a groove from LibrarianBot's excellent work on Deviant art, but I added more to give it that feeling of detail without resorting to nuts and bolts. Grooves ended up being a recurring detail on this design, convenient as it lends it a bit of design continuity between the different pieces, and also was really easy to model. :D


The underside obviously owes a lot of its look to the NSD and Mechmaster's designs. I decided I quite liked the softer creamy yellow rather than the bright blue or Mechmaster's dull orangey-red colours. Something about this feels fitting for a 60's styled design, and I decided to keep that colour for the ear bulbs and eye.


One of the things I wanted to test out was keeping the gold collars from the first movie, but still adding the slats - rather than going monochrome like the second movie, which imo made all the daleks look bland by comparison.

I would love to say I intentionally made the mesh have bigger holes in order to better show off this layering, and while thats partly true I also didn't look at reference pictures and forgot how fine the mesh in the show was. :D However I do think the end result works quite nicely - was a pain to model though, and strictly speaking its a bit wrong - the model has no back faces to the mesh's...well, mesh. However since that can't really be seen, I don't care. :D


As much as I didn't want rivets elsewhere to make the whole thing sleeker, I felt if I was going to put slats of this style on, they needed something as a visible connector in order to not feel the wrong sort of fragile, and give a little detail. The alternative might have been to do Imperial or NSD style integrated slats, but I wanted the technological look, and done well the classic slats actually look really good. (And with a CG design I am not on a budget here! :D )

There needed to be something in between the guns, or it looked too bare, so I went for an oval, but by sticking details on ti it seems more like an actual bit of tech now rather than just a random panel. I actually at one point tried a TVC21 style grill, but that didn't look right. Consider this an homage to that grill, while sticking closer to the TV style.


For the dome, I included the cowl - because that was a brilliant addition to the NSD - but I slimmed it down a bit. I went with NDP style slimmer lights (After the new series Daleks with tiny lights just don't seem right any more, and these ARE Cushing inspired). While I kept the actual chamfer to the dome, unlike the entirely hemispherical NDP one, I did like the groove going round the edge, so I took that and ran with it for detailing. Was considering doing more, but more panels started getting too bulky looking, and I decided less was more.


The Eye discs I went for a hybrid of classic and new - curved, translucent discs like the NSD, but I went for five instead of six. Look closely though and you'll see the central one is a ridged 'double-disc', to allude to the NSD's two central discs.

For the Eye bulb itself, the basic shape is the smoother Movie style, but with NSD ridges aroudn the lenses, and NDP groove. I was going to add more bumps and whatnot, but it just didn't look right with the toffee-apple shape. I was going to put in Deadp PLanet style three little rivets on the front, but again didn't quite work, so I went with the NDP placement on the sides, but kept them silver.

For the neck bin I went with NSD style grid beacsue...well tis easy to model somethign approximate (I realise the real one is a lot more detailed) and it looks good.

Neck struts I dd the clover style from the originals - its interesting and in keeping with the 'detailed but smooth' feel. They did however have to reach all the way up inside the dome as ending early I think just made it look cheap.

Neck Rings I did with the movie style chunkier looking chamfer, somewhat compensated for by yet another detail groove. Again, my excuse is visual consistency on the details, and totally not lazyness :D I do think it looks good though.


For the gun I actually modelled out an NDP one before deciding nto to use it - while that design certainly had...issues - a lot of the detail work was good. However scaling it down to the much shorter proportions it didn't quite work, and since everything else is a hybrid I thought I'd continue it. So I kept the design for the rods and the angular connectors, and kept the idea of the round, angled discs, but spaced them out and made them translucent akin to the original plastic octagons. The result feels distinctly more of an iconic Dalek weapon, but with a modern level of detail.


The sucker is nice and simple, pretty much the movie design with some NDP grooves for detail.

Final mesh has 123,000 + faces.


  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member
    edited July 2019 #2
    I then started creating other ranks.

    I actually never liked either movie red Dalek as much - the first with the black is neat but not as good as the others, and the second with the silver just doesn't quite look right (and almost feels out of place being the only one with silver bumps). I did however see some fan posters for never-made future films, which had red daleks that I actually liked - the big thing was the darker colour (somewhat akin to the gorgeous metallic red of the Asylum NDP drone), a silver base, and dark blue / black hemis. Still kept the gold collar in this for now, as its something of a feature of my initial designs, but other variants may not have it.


    Next up was the Black Dalek / Dalek Supreme from the first movie - I always used to think the alternating gold and silver hemis were a bit over the top, but I'm oddly fond of them now, and it makes it more interesting than monochrome.

    The room is a hastily put together TMA/TWF one with cushing copper walls, but it was a bit too orange so I toned it down and remembered to darken the red (forgot to darken the blue domes!)



    Post edited by Fennius on
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member
    edited July 2019 #3
    A couple of possible variants on Black Dalek - the silver look is cleaner, but the gold keeps it in line with the others.



    Going completely the other way, 80's grey colour scheme based on Resurrection of the Daleks. I envision this as the closest a slightly more practical livery brought out for high intensity battlefields where maybe bright reflective silver and primary colours are not strictly speaking preferable. Ordinary Daleks would still be in silver though.


    Next up is the colour scheme from Death to the Daleks, which I may or may not use for an expeditionary force.


    Black domes are traditionally for Emperor's Guard, and I found that paired with the Death colour scheme, it looks really mean.

    I imagine these as combination Praetorian guard for high ranking Daleks, and Commisars who keep an eyestalk out for disloyalty. It just looks like the sort of Dalek that other Daleks trundle with care around.


    And finally a red-domed blue bumped Dalek, takign the old idea of Red saucer commanders, I'm referring to this as a Pilot Dalek.


    Post edited by Fennius on
  • GuerrillaGuerrilla758 HelsinkiPosts: 2,843Administrator
    Oh wow. I didn't know Wings3d was still a thing. Cool Daleks :)
    Comco: i entered it manually in the back end
    Join our fancy Discord Server!
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member
    Guerrilla wrote: »
    Oh wow. I didn't know Wings3d was still a thing. Cool Daleks :)

    It still has one user! :D

    Actually it does still seem to be updating and getting more features.

    I live it for modelling.

    I'm currently using blender for the actual render, but I have yet to decipher it's arcane gibberish of a user interface for anything other than basic rendering
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member
    If my Daleks are to conquer and destroy, they will need ships!


    Blending together the TVC 21 bell like saucer, the original Dalek Invasion of Earth saucer, and the special edition version of the same. I may try and include details from the movie saucer.

    Also included is a low-poly Dalek model for scale, I am affectionately referring to as a 'Dapol' Dalek.
  • ashleytingerashleytinger1477 Central OhioPosts: 1,025Member
    Loving all these variants on the Daleks. Very cool.
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member

    Some mucking around with the saucer and experimenting with textures, my eternal enemy.

    I am...unsure about the copper look.



    Also, in the spirit of the retro feel I've been giving these daleks, a hoverbout/transolar disc.

    I've never been a huge fan of Daleks zipping about on their own like fighter jets, so I think they can levitate but don't have the power for long distance flight unaided.
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member
    edited July 2019 #9


    So while I'm not using Imperial cream and gold for the daleks themselves yet, the colour scheme does look very good on the saucer, and ties in with the white cushing saucer.

    Similarly I am taking heavy influence from that movie for the interior of the loading ramp, and will likely continue to do so for other bits of the internals.

    I have smoothed out the edges of the saucer, altered its profile very slightly (Its a little wider and less squat than the eariler pictures, and has a slightly sharper rim), and reduced the number of upper and lower lights. I tried replacing the dish turrets with a less silly design, but it...just didn't quite work, so I went back to them but moved them lower down the upper dome - they look much better more recessed.

    There are some missile tubes around the upper rim - originally those were recessed in alcoves to fit better, but again it just didn't quite look right. So for now they're plain tubes sticking out - that may get changed or improved at some point.

    I also reduced the detailing on the underside (not that I have a picture of it here) as it was a bit busy. May still be too busy. Currently thinking two landing ramps on opposite sides, while the last segments will have docking bays for hoverbouts and other small craft. )
    Post edited by Fennius on
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member





  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1802823 Posts: 10,407Member
    Again, I don't know much about Dr. Who, but that's a cool looking flying saucer.
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member
    Again, I don't know much about Dr. Who, but that's a cool looking flying saucer.

    Right, I keep forgetting people don't have my encyclopedic knowledge of the topic. Let me dig out references. :D

    So the original one from Dalek Invasion of Earth was...I think actually two pie dishes stuck together.


    This is never seen again, but the ridges I put on mine are meant to evoke the look a little whilst taking more from other designs.

    For the DVD release this was upgraded with a cgi one somewhat in line with the new series:


    There were a couple of other small and unimpressive looking saucer models int he classic series, as well as some non-saucer based ships in the 80's that veered around in terms of aesthetic, and I may take stuff from them at some point.






    The New Series has stuck with the same basic idea and gone through three iterations (arguably the first is the nicest imo :P, thought the newest is certainly more detailed)




    Fairly clearly I took the design of the rim of the saucer from here.

    My first thoughts were to go for a similar look of recessed segments, but it didn't quite feel right. The design brief for these daleks has been to give them a retro feel, so I'm looking at 60's things.

    The Cushing movie remake of The Dalek Invasion of Earth on had this quite nice model:


    The landing legs, ramp, and entrance bay I've heavily based on this model, though I'm not going for a 100% recreation. I am keeping it in mind if/when I go on to model the full interior, though I may incorporate show interior elements as well and go for a blend (Dalek architecture is even less consistent than their spaceships :D )


    I was also looking at the old TVC 21 comics Daleks - to an extent a discussion of that series and its unique take on the daleks is what started this project off.

    They're not always the msot consistent in look, but the two most common saucer designs I see are these, which clearly inspired the CG new series and DVD remake ones:



    Originally this saucer did have a more squat profile akin to the comics, but I have widened it out a little since the start. Its shape is probably closest to the DIOE remake one (ironic considering the original gets its reference in :D )

    I was stuck on weapons for quite a while as you don't really get a clear look at them in the show - as space battles tend not to be its thing, and in fact I paused the video on their most rcent appearance and the bolts just randomly come from nowhere. Disappointing on such a detailed model. There are things in the picture shown that look like they might be gun turrets, but they didn't feel right for the model.

    I then found that comic panel of them firign from the radar dish looking things, which is *very* retro feeling, so I took that element, as well as the panels on the upper dome from there. May still change it, but with its current positionign I'm okay with it. (Went for a pale green glow as the modern ones fire green blasts, and it looks good on the dish. :P )

    I also came across this cutaway diagram which I may take inspiration from when I do more interior. Either way its a cool picture. :D


  • evil_genius_180evil_genius_1802823 Posts: 10,407Member
    That's some cool background. I didn't even know they had flying saucers in Dr. Who.
  • FenniusFennius39 Posts: 64Member
    Not much, but just a little bit more work on the loading bay.

    I'm still debating whether to have two on opposite sides or not.



Sign In or Register to comment.